Red-Eye for Russell; Tim wins at New Smyrna

By on January 9, 2012

Red-Eye 100 winner Tim Russell in victory lane at New Syrmna (photo by Rodney Meyering)

New Smyrna, Fla.–The 2012 racing season got under way with the Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway Saturday night.  This race traditional marks off the start of a new racing season and this year we ran it under a full moon and for the second race in a row, New Smyrna Speedway enjoyed a huge crowd picking up from November,  when the track ran the Governor’s Cup race.  During that race, track owner Robert Hart announced that he would no longer be running the track events as he had been for more than 30 years, he has turned the day to day operations over to his wife and son.

Jeff Scofield started the race from the pole position, leading 20 cars to the green flag.  Scofield had Florida

Ben Kennedy gets an early exit (photo by Rodney Meyering)

racing legend, Wayne Anderson  helping him in the pits for the 2012 kickoff.  The race did not last long for Matt Tift and Ben Kennedy.  Tift had trouble getting traction on the initial start, spun the rear tires and got into Kennedy.  Both cars had severe damage and would be out for the night.  After 20 minutes under the red flag, the race would resume.

Scofield was able to get the jump on Travis Cope, followed by Tim Russell and Bobby Good, just the way they qualified.  Lap 4 would see our second caution of the night, as 14 year old John Hunter Nemechek, son of Nascar driver and Lakeland native, Joe Nemechek, got loose and lost control exiting turn 4.  Chad Allman and Michael Seay were unable to avoid Nemechek, all cars had damage, but would continue.

Pole setter #07 Jeff Scofield (photo by Rodney Meyering)

Bobby Good (photo by Rodney Meyering)

On the lap 7 restart, Bobby Good would move to second and David Rogers to third, Russell and Cope to 4th and 5th.   Rogers would put the pressure on second place until lap 16, when he had something break in the car and retired for the night.  Lap 20 through 50 would see Scofield breakaway from the pack, pulling away from Good, Russell, Cope and Todd Allen.  Halfway through the race, Russell has been able to get second from Good and is closing in on Scofield, whose car seems to be getting a bit loose on this cool night.  Three quarters through, Scofield still leads Russell and third place Cope is coming fast.  Allen and Chad Pierce make up the top five.  As Cope goes by Russell, the racing is very close.  Looks like entering turn 1, Cope gets by Russell, then gets a bump from Russell, pushing Cope into an already loose Scofield, spinning Scoffield around in turns 1 and 2.  Scofield will pit and rejoin at the rear.  Lap 77 restart sees Travis Cope choose the high lane.  Russell charges to turn one first and drifts high in front of Cope.  Cope goes low exiting turn 2, but is no match as Russell charges down the backstretch in the lead.   Allen and Pierce are close behind.  Scofield is not able to make any progress from 7th, with 20 laps to go.

Ten laps to go and we have our final caution as Gus Dean loops it in turn 1.  The restart sees Russell pull away from the field, as Rich Clouser   moves to third getting by Allen.  The final laps see Russell pull away by 25 lengths, Cope finishes second with Clouser a close third, Scofield made it back to 4th.  After the race, there were no tech issues in Ricky Brooks trailer of doom.  Tim Russell wins his second Red Eye 100 at New Smyrna Speedway.

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